A lot has been said and heard about the terrible editors and publishers who totally ignore or criticize eager new writers. With so many writers out there, the traditional publishing funnel is getting smaller and smaller. I know, I’m one of them. I wasted two years waiting for Baen books to get around to turning down my first book, after expressing interest and asking for a completed manuscript.
TWO YEARS! ONE BOOK!
Now the shoe is on the other foot, and ouch, it pinches.
Because I write science fiction and have read it for years, I thought it would be fun to share that wisdom with others. What could go wrong??? I was always eager to hear a good book idea. Not many people around me ever read science fiction and I was always on the lookout for something good to read. I could spread the word about my favorites.
Amazon has solved that problem for me, somewhat. But I still thought it would be a good idea to blog about it…and I am having fun doing that. But a new monster has raised its head and that’s the monster of declining reviews of authors’ books.
So far, I have had wonderful writers that have been more than gracious when I have said, “No, thanks.” Recently, a UK new writer e-mailed me asking me to review a story about booze crazed alien slugs that unleash unspeakable terror on the world and only a Broken Vacuum array of cleaning attachments can save the day.
It was tempting, but I felt a need to decline in that I don’t review appliance fiction. (for your future reference) and it sounded a bit sucky, to tell the truth.
We’ll probably read about it on Amazon’s best seller list.
I also got a request from Richard Flores who wrote an intriguing blog on this matter at: http//:www.floresfactor.wordpress.com which sparked this blog. His blog is entitled “Form Rejection.” Since he also reviews, he thought he would respond to writer’s submissions that he had to reject with advice on how to make the manuscript better. You know, the personal touch.
Writers, on the whole, didn’t appear to appreciate it.
Turns out there is another side to this dance. Writers can get downright snarky if you call their baby ugly. He said that some used foul language and threats. Check out his neat blog…and other blogs that he has done.
Hence the use of form rejections by publishers and editors and agents that are vague and non judgmental. “Doesn’t fit into out current offerings.” Etc.
A nice “No thanks.” For those that don’t want a home fire-bombed.
Now, so far, I have been lucky. Please, all writers be aware that just because one person backs away, doesn’t mean it’s a bad book or story. I recently said no because I couldn’t deal with the topic of dying of cancer that the book began with, even though the writing was good. It’s just we have to make a judgement call on what we put our name on and in the publisher’s case…their money, or for some it’s their career. This doesn’t excuse certain behaviors that I have encountered by editors, but it has certainly opened my eyes to their side of things.
I have mentioned David Levine on my blog before and he recently e-mailed me and the Portland Writers Group after being at Wordstock. There they had the cards that Katherine Rusch and her husband Dean Wesley Smith have mentioned before. They are an attractive plastic credit card size that have scratch off codes on them that you can give away or sell. You upload your book to their server and anyone with a card gives the code and downloads your book. It’s a handy way to sell books at a fair or around town…maybe even at the nail salon when someone says that they may be interested and the iron is hot for the striking.
Here’s their website for further info: http://www.greenersidedigital.com.
Now…what’s on my reading list? Well, Richard Flore’s book had such a beautiful cover and interesting title, that I have started that. So, stay tuned for that review. He also did a blog on cover titles and looks like he followed his own advice.
Free is my price…so I’ll check it out for you.
And…I’m in a science fiction book club that has been assigned The Magicians” by Lev Grossman for their next meeting. So, I’ll need to get on that one too and let you know.
Been busy with Past the Event Horizon that has been going through the grinder of my writers’ group. They have had some awesome things to say about it, but a chapter every two weeks has been dragging things out. However, a proof is on the way…yeah, yeah, you’ll believe it when you see it. But not long now. I’m excited.
Enjoy a good science fiction read and let me know what you like…or an interesting science fictiony fact.